DUE TO COVID-19 PLEASE CALL 217-422-5002 TO MAKE AN APPOINTMENT.
The terms "we", "us" and "our", and “Tour Group Planners” refer to Tour Group Planners. LLC. The term "you" and “traveler” refers to the customer visiting our website, and/or booking a reservation with us.
Tour Group Planners, LLC, is an independent contractor with Rio Grande Travel Centers Inc, acts as a sales agent for any airline, hotel, car-rental company, tour operator, cruise line, or other service provider named in your itinerary or confirmation (“Suppliers”). The Supplier’s terms and privacy policies apply to your booking so you must agree to and understand those terms. Your interaction with any Supplier is at your own risk; Tour Group Planners does not bear any responsibility should anything go wrong with your booking or during your travel. As the client, you agree that Tour Group Planner acts only as agent for the client in acquiring transportation, hotel accommodations, sightseeing and other privileges, or services for the clients’ benefit, and on the express condition that Tour Group Planners shall not be responsible for any loss, accident, injury, delay, defect, omission or irregularity which may occur or be occasioned, whether by reason of any act, negligence or default of any company or person engaged in or responsible for carrying out any of the arrangements, or otherwise in connection therewith. We are not responsible for the acts or omissions of the Suppliers or their failure to adhere to their own schedules, provide services or refunds, financial default, or failure to honor future trip credits. We have no special knowledge regarding the financial condition of the Suppliers and no liability for recommending a trip credit in lieu of a refund.
YOUR ACCEPTANCE OF THESE TERMS AND CONDITIONS: By booking your travel arrangements with us, you are agreeing to be bound by the terms and conditions together with any additional documentation we give you, and any additional terms and conditions of any Supplier that are applicable to your travel arrangement (“The Agreement”). The Agreement describes what you are legally entitled to expect from us when you book your trip through us, in addition to important obligations you enter into as a traveler that affect your legal rights including Liability Waivers, Waiver of Class Action and Venue Selection. Therefore, it is of vital importance that you read everything we provide to you in their entirety. The lead traveler assumes the responsibility of sharing these Terms and Conditions with each traveler for whom they make a booking. Tour Group Planners is not responsible for any traveler’s unawareness of the Terms and Conditions due to the failure of the lead traveler to share this information with all travelers. If you do not agree with our terms and conditions you must speak with us before making any booking.
You acknowledge and agree that we may change these Terms and Conditions from time to time and that those changes become effective immediately. If we make material changes, we will provide you notice. Your continued use of our services following the notice of any changes constitutes your acceptance and agreement to be bound by such changes. You agree to be bound by the Terms and Conditions that are in effect at the time of travel or cancellation.
CREDIT OR DEBIT CARDS - Usually the following cards are welcome: American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. You must provide to us a signed charge authorization agreement for every transaction for your trip. Your authorization is a binding agreement for us to charge your card and as such you waive any right to chargeback in the case of cancellation for any cause whatsoever, including a Force Majeure event, as defined herein, and agree to refund policies and procedures as outlined in these Terms and Conditions. If the traveler pursues a chargeback, we will be entitled to damages, costs and fees associated with disputing the chargeback. Please note that due to supplier requirements, we may not be able to accept some cards for some trips.
TRAVEL INSURANCE - We strongly recommend that you purchase travel insurance, however, you must be medically able to travel when you pay your plan cost. We sell AIG Travel Guard, both individual and group insurance plans to cover cancellations for covered reasons, sickness or injury during travel, trip interruption, travel delays, baggage coverage and more. The group policy is called Vacation & Cruises Plan (V&C Plan), does not cover supplier default or offer Cancel for Any Reason Coverage; for these coverages you would need to purchase an individual plan. Pre-existing conditions coverage is included in the group V&C Plan which must be purchased with your deposit, and for individual plans if purchased within 14 days of initial deposit; other stipulations may apply. Most Medicare and personal insurance policies do not cover you outside the US. Travel insurance is non-refundable and non-transferrable. Tour Group Planners is not qualified to answer technical questions about travel protection plans; with coverage and benefit questions contact Travel Guard at 1-800-826-5248 .
Adventure activities, such as but not limited to zip lining, scuba diving or rock climbing, requires additional coverage not included in the group V&C Plan.
Declining travel protection plan coverage could result in the loss of your travel cost and/or require more money to correct the situation. You acknowledge that without this coverage, there may be no way to recoup any losses, costs or expenses incurred. If you choose to travel without adequate coverage, we will not be liable for any of your losses howsoever arising, for which trip protection plan coverage would otherwise have been available.
CHANGES AND CANCELLATION BY THE SUPPLIER - We will inform you as soon as reasonably possible if the Supplier needs to make a significant change to or cancel your confirmed booking. We will also liaise between you and the Supplier in relation to any alternative arrangements offered by the Supplier but we will have no further liability to you.
During local or national holidays, certain facilities such as museums, sightseeing trips and shopping may be limited or unavailable. In such instances itinerary changes are made by Suppliers seeking to reduce inconvenience to travelers. Such changes are deemed not to be a major change, and no compensation will be payable to travelers.
CANCELLATION OF A GROUP TRIP - Most of our trips operate even if the group size is small. If it is necessary to cancel a trip due to lack of participation and do not reschedule, we will make a refund to you less a minimum $100/person administrative fee. Traveler is responsible for any additional costs for air tickets or other travel arrangements not made by us. Any purchased travel protection is non-refundable.
CANCELLATION BY TRAVELER - As described above, Tour Group Planners is required to pay all suppliers well in advance of your tour date. This includes but is not limited to hotel accommodations, events, meals, show tickets, admission tickets, transportation, etc. All suppliers have their own cancellation policies, which apply to your booking. Should a cancellation become necessary, please inform Tour Group Planners immediately in writing. Upon receipt, Tour Group Planners will communicate with suppliers regarding any applicable refunds as outlined in the supplier’s terms and subject to their review. If you are entitled to a refund, please note that the supplier is responsible for this refund, not Tour Group Planners. Suppliers may choose to provide a travel voucher or credit in lieu of refund. We are not responsible for a supplier’s failure to pay a refund or for supplier bankruptcy or insolvency. It is the traveler’s responsibility to read the supplier’s terms and conditions, which can be found on their website.
In addition to the terms of our suppliers the following cancellation fees apply for all Tour Group Planners groups, except Private Rail Trips (see separate section below). The penalty amount depends on how close to departure date we receive your written cancellation request. Any additional refunds due from Tour Group Planners will be processed as soon as we receive refunds from the supplier.
From - To (prior to departure) Penalty Amount
Booking Date - Over 5 Months 50% of Deposit
5 Months - Over 4 Months 100% of Deposit
4 Months - Over 2 Month 50% of Trip Cost
2 Months - 31 Days 75% of Trip Cost
30 Days - Departure date 100% of trip Cos
Should your group not travel, no matter the reason or who made the decision, at a minimum, the deposit is non-refundable if cancelled within 6 months of travel; outside of 6 months a minimum fee applies.
Because we and our suppliers strictly adhere to our cancellation terms, travel protection coverage is strongly recommended.
If a roommate cancels, the remaining traveler owes a single supplement. Each room-mate should purchase travel insurance to cover reimbursement for this extra cost.
CANCELLATION OFF A PRIVATE RAIL TRIP - Due to the high cost of renting private rail cars, our Private Rail trips are non-refundable starting from deposit. Should the trip dates need to be changed due to circumstances beyond our control and you cannot participate on the new dates, an administration fee will be applied and the remainder of your payment will be a credit towards a future group trip within one year of original trip departure date. Travel insurance cost is always non-refundable.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES - Tour Group Planners has no control and will have no liability for Acts of God, such as weather conditions, tornados, floods, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, or other natural disasters. Other conditions we have no control over include but are not limited to civil unrest, acts of violence, terrorist attacks, health crises/pandemics, National and/or State Emergencies, decision of governments, quarantine, medical or customs or immigration regulation, delay or cancellation or any other similar occurrences outside of our control. In any such case, Tour Group Planners may request a refund or travel credit from the Suppliers but will not be held responsible for issuing any refund or travel credit if the supplier does not provide a refund or travel credit. Note: travel insurance does not cover special circumstances listed above and will not reimburse for cancellations.
In the event that you do not want to travel because of special circumstances listed above, and the trip still operates, you may choose not to go but our normal cancellation policy will be in place.
TRAVEL DOCUMENT(S) - All tours require at least a government-issued photo ID. All foreign air travel requires a valid passport (sea border crossings have lesser requirements but a passport is still recommended). Occasionally visas and/or shots must be required for some international trips. It is your responsibility to obtain and pay for these necessary items. When a passport is required, it usually must be valid 6 months beyond your return travel date and have a minimum of 2 blank pages. We require a copy of the picture page for our records. It can take 2-5 months to process a completed passport application. Expedited passports are offered for an additional cost and are usually returned in 7-14 business days or pay an additional cost for overnight delivery. A rushed passport can cost an additional $300-500 if you need it much quicker than expedited. When a passport is not required, you must travel with a government-issued photo I.D (like a driver’s license). Beginning 10/1/2021, when flying you must have a government-issued REAL ID enhanced driver’s license or identification card or a passport. For more information on travel documentation, go to www.travel.state.gov.
DESTINATIONS - By offering reservations for travel in particular international destinations, Tour Group Planners does not represent or warrant that travel to such areas is advisable or without risk. It is your responsibility to be aware of travel warnings, advisories, and travel restrictions/requirements as announced by the U.S. State Department or any other government agency. Should you choose to travel to a country that has been issued a travel warning or advisory, Tour Group Planners will not be liable for damages or losses that result from travel to such destinations. Some destinations require a vaccination, consult with your physician regarding your travel plans. For medical and health information regarding your travel destination, we recommend going to the Centers for Disease Control website at www.cdc.gov/travel, then click on “Destinations” and scroll to the name of the destination country. When traveling abroad, we recommend enrolling in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). To sign up or get more information go to www.step.state.gov.
Check your airline's website for luggage restrictions and hazardous material information to know what you can and cannot pack and how much. Oversized and overweight bags are subject to additional charges.
Not sure if you can pack a certain item or whether it should go in your checked or carry-on bag? Check the TSA website at https://www.tsa.gov/travel/security-screening/whatcanibring/all and enter the name of your item in the search bar.
COVID-19 WAIVER - By booking a trip at this time, you acknowledge the highly contagious nature of COVID-19 and voluntarily assume the risk for yourself and any minors traveling with you, that you or they may be exposed to or infected by COVID-19 by traveling and that such exposure or infection may result in personal injury, illness, permanent disability, and death even if such injuries or losses occur in a manner that is not foreseeable at the time you book your trip. You acknowledge that exposure to such viruses or disease is an inherent risk of traveling, that cannot be controlled or eliminated by Tour Group Planners.You acknowledge that due to the uncertainty of travel at this time, your trip may be postponed or cancelled or changes may be made to itineraries due to closures of certain sites or activities, for which there may be no refund. You may also be required to quarantine upon arrival in some locations. You understand that you may become sick before, during, or after the trip and may not be able to travel and such cancellation or interruption will be subject to our cancellation terms below, for which we will not be liable. You agree that due to uncertainty caused by COVID 19, Tour Group Planners has strongly encouraged the purchase of travel protection coverage including cancel for any reason coverage if and when available, and that should you fail to purchase travel protection coverage, Tour Group Planners shall not be liable to any losses howsoever arising.You, for yourself and any minors traveling with you, and on behalf of your and their heirs, assigns, personal representatives and next of kin, HEREBY RELEASE, AND HOLD HARMLESS Tour Group Planners, LLC, its members, officers, agents, and/or employees, suppliers, group leaders, and other tour members (RELEASEES), of from and against any and all claims, damages, demands, losses, and liability arising out of or related in any way, in whole or in part to any POSTPONEMENT, CANCELLATION, CHANGES, INJURY, DISABILITY, DEATH OR ANY OTHER LOSS you may suffer due to exposure, infection, spread, closure, and travel restrictions related to COVID- 19, WHETHER ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASEES OR OTHERWISE, to the fullest extent permitted by law. The terms of this HOLD HARMLESS AND RELEASE OF ALL LIABILITY paragraph, shall survive any termination or cancellation of this Contract, whether by operation of law or otherwise.
TICKET RESPONSIBILITY & OTHER INCLUSIONS - Package components, tickets for airline, rail or cruise lines are issued by Tour Group Planners, LLC or Rio Grande Travel Centers, Inc acting solely as agents of the carrier. Our responsibility is governed by agency agreement between carrier and the agency including but not limited to the Passenger Sales Agency Agreements on file. Payment of the required deposit or partial or full payment for a reservation on a trip constitutes consent to all provisions of the conditions and general information contained herein and from the disclosed principals. These terms and conditions, under which you agree to take this trip, cannot be changed or amended except in writing, signed by an officer of Tour Group Planners or Rio Grande Travel Centers, Inc. Air ticket prices are guaranteed against price increases only after the tickets are purchased and paid for in full, and if reservations are not changed by you. Otherwise, making a reservation without purchasing the ticket will not guarantee the price. Government taxes and fuel surcharges are subject to change without notice and may be collected at the airport on arrival or departure. Be sure your plans are firm because changing your flights may result in a price increase.
RELEASE OF LIABILITY - You hereby understand, acknowledge, and agree that Tour Group Planners, LLC, its owners, officers, members, employees, agents, representatives, group leaders, affiliates, vendors, and independent contractors (collectively “Tour Group Planners”) does not own or operate any entity which is to or does provide goods or services for the Trip including without limitation, for example, partnership with, or ownership or control over hotels or other lodging facilities, airline, vessel, bus, van or other transportation companies, local ground operators, providers or organizers of optional or included excursions or equipment used thereon, food service or entertainment providers, etc. All such persons and entities are independent contractors that Tour Group Planners works with as such. You therefore release and hold harmless Tour Group Planners, its owners, officers, members, employees, agents, affiliates, and vendors for any negligent or willful act or failure to act of any such person or entity, or of any other third party, and you agree to and shall not make any claims against Tour Group Planners for any such actions or omission by Tour Group Planners or any such third parties. Without limitation, Tour Group Planners is not responsible for any injury, loss, or damage to your person or property, death, delay or inconvenience in connection with the provision of any goods or services occasioned by or resulting from, but not limited to, acts of God, acts of government, force majeure, acts of war or civil unrest, insurrection or revolt, strikes or other labor activities, criminal or terrorist activities of any kind, or the threat thereof, overbooking or downgrading of accommodations, structural or other defective conditions in hotels or other lodging facilities, mechanical or other failure of airplanes or other means of transportation or for any failure of any transportation mechanism to arrive or depart timely or safely, dangers associated with or bites from animals, pests or insects, marine life or vegetation of any sort, dangers incident to recreational activities such as zip lining, snorkeling or scuba diving, paddle boarding, horseback riding, surfing, swimming, kayaking, sailing, canoeing, rafting, hiking, bicycling, rock climbing, etc., sanitation problems, food poisoning, lack of access to or quality of medical care, difficulty in evacuation in case of a medical or other emergency, illness, epidemics or the threat thereof or for any other cause beyond the reasonable control of Tour Group Planners. Tour Group Planners reserves the right to change hotels, the itinerary, or other features of the Trip if Tour Group Planners believes it will enhance the safety, comfort or enjoyment of the Trip for you and the other participants, but in each case, if feasible, with Client’s prior consent.
ASSUMPTION OF RISK - Traveler is aware that travel such as client is undertaking on the Trip may involve hazardous activities, some in remote areas of the world. Inherent hazards and risks include, but are not limited to, risk of injury or death from: motor vehicles collisions, animals, roadway hazards, slips, and falls, consumption of alcoholic beverages, tainted food, or non-potable water; exposure to the elements, including heat, cold, sun, water, and wind; my own negligence and/or the negligence of others, including tour guides, other guests, Tour Group Planners, LLC and its employees, agents and/or representatives; attack by or encounter with insects, reptiles, and/or animals; accidents or illness occurring in remote places where there are no available medical services; fatigue, chill, overheating, and/or dizziness; known or unknown medical conditions, physical excursion for which the traveler is not prepared or other such accidents; the negligence or lack of adequate training of any third-party providers who seek to assist with medical or other help either before or after injuries have occurred; accident or illness without access to means of rapid evacuation or availability of medical supplies or services; and the adequacy of medical attention once provided.
Traveler understands the description of these risks is not complete and that unknown or unanticipated risks may result in injury, illness, or death. In order to partake of the enjoyment and excitement of this trip, traveler is willing to accept the risks and uncertainty involved as being an integral part of travel. Client hereby accepts and assumes full responsibility for any and all risks of illness, injury or death and of the negligence of Tour Group Planners and agrees to and shall hold harmless and fully release Tour Group Planners from any and all claims associated with the trip, including any claims of third party negligence and you hereby covenant not to sue Tour Group Planners for any such claims or join any lawsuit or action that is suing Tour Group Planners. This agreement also binds your heirs, legal representatives and assigns.
INDEMNIFICATION - Traveler agrees to and shall indemnify and hold harmless Tour Group Planners, LLC, and each of our officers, directors, employees and agents (collectively “Tour Group Planners”), from any expenses, losses, liabilities, damages, judgments, settlements and costs (collectively, “damages”) involved with or incurred by Tour Group Planners (including, without limitation, reasonable attorneys’ fees and the advancement of same) with respect to any claims, law suits, arbitrations, or other causes of action, which result, directly or indirectly, from: (i) Client’s breach or violation, or threatened breach or violation, of this Agreement and (ii) Any damage caused by client while participating in the trip.
SEVERABILITY - If any provision of these terms and conditions shall be held unenforceable, such provision shall be struck and the remainder shall remain enforceable.
JURISDICTION AND VENUE / WAIVER OF CLASS ACTION / TIME LIMIT ON CLAIMS - This Agreement and all attachments hereto and the rights of the parties hereunder shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Illinois, exclusive of conflict or choice of law rules. Any claims shall be brought in a court of competent jurisdiction located in Macon County, Illinois. You agree that you will only bring claims against Tour Group Planners in your individual capacity and not as a plaintiff or class member in and purported class action or representative proceeding. Tour Group Planners shall not in any case be liable for other than compensatory damages, and your payment of a deposit on a tour means that you agree to these conditions of sale and expressly waive any right to punitive damages. You understand and agree that no claims will be considered and that you will not bring suite against Tour Group Planners unless you have first provided a typewritten notice of claim to Tour Group Planners within 30 days after the trip or cancellation of the trip.
It is with great sadness that I announce the passing of Judy McElfresh. A link to Judy's obituary can be found on our ABOUT US page.
Our office is currently open by appointment only.